Indian stars hail Sharma's heroics at WGC-Mexico Championship

Mon 05 Mar 2018

Indian stars hail Sharma's heroics at WGC-Mexico Championship

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Sentosa, Singapore, March 5: Asian Tour stalwarts Jeev Milkha Singh, Arjun Atwal and Anirban Lahiri heaped praises on Shubhankar Sharma who produced a gutsy performance at the World Golf Championships-Mexico Championship.

The 21-year-old Sharma, who currently leads the Asian Tour’s Habitat for Humanity Standings, was the youngest player in the elite field but he showed maturity beyond his age when he led in the second and third rounds by two shots.

He finished a credible tied ninth following a disappointing 74 but Sharma has earned the respect from the Indian golf stars who believe that the immensely talented young golfer has a bright future ahead of him.

Arjun Atwal, the first Indian to win on the PGA Tour and an eight-time Asian Tour winner, said Sharma’s calm demeanour has been the key to his meteoric rise.

“I met Shubhankar when he was 17 or 18 years old in Royal Calcutta Golf Club when he came over to play in the Indian Tour season-ending tournament. I’ve always been interested to know the kids who were coming up from India and we were introduced. I liked him right away as he came across as a mature person. He has like an older soul and I kind of gelled with him right away and liked how he came across as a person,” said Atwal.

“Over time, I’ve played practice rounds with him, and followed his progress on the Indian Tour and Asian Tour and at a young age, it was good to see his progress. To me, he has a very calm attitude. I like that about him. He doesn’t get flustered, he takes everything in his stride and that’s what I’ve always noticed about him. He’s been very level headed since I’ve known him. I can’t see him being upset or cussing. He reminds me of me when I was younger,” he added.

2015 Asian Tour number one Anirban Lahiri, who has close family ties with Sharma as his father, a gynecologist helped deliver Sharma’s sister, was delighted to watch his compatriot win two events on the Asian Tour and European Tour since last December and continue his fine form in his WGC debut.

“When you’re in a habit of winning, it’s easier to get over the line whatever the stage. You know how to win. He’s a very tenacious and feisty competitor. He approaches his golf aggressively and he’s a confident guy. That’s the confidence he has. He has all those qualities.

“The differentiating factor between him and other 21 year olds is how he approaches tournaments and his mental ability to focus and to separate himself from the noise, especially during big events and even on the world stage. Amazingly it’s his first World Golf Championships and it’s been good to see that he’s not been overwhelmed and he’s not been overawed,” said Lahiri, who has a full PGA Tour card.

Jeev Milkha Singh, a two-time Asian Tour number one, predicts that Sharma can achieve and taste even more success in the future. 

“As a child, he has respect for his seniors, his conduct is amazing. Playing with fellow competitors, he is very good, very respectful and the third thing is that he believes in making his clubs do the talking. He just wants to win. He’s not bothered with what he can get if he wins. He just wants to win as many events as possible and make a name for himself in the world of golf.

“I was telling someone else the other day that the knowledge these kids have, they can become better than what I have done, what Arjun (Atwal) has done or what Anirban (Lahiri) has done. They have the knowledge to become better,” said Singh.

Ends.

About Asian Tour

As the official sanctioning body for professional golf in Asia, the Asian Tour leads the development of golf across the region, enhancing the careers of its members while maintaining a commitment to the integrity of the game. The Asian Tour, through its membership of the International Federation of PGA Tours, is the only recognised pan-Asian professional golf tour in Asia. This unique feature positions the Asian Tour at the pinnacle of professional golf in Asia; providing its events with Official World Ranking status. Tour Partners include Rolex (Official Timekeeper), Panasonic (Official Consumer Electronics), Habitat for Humanity (Official Sustainable Development Partner), ECCO (Official Footwear Sponsor), Titleist and FootJoy (Official Web Partner), Bloomberg TV (Official International Media Partner), Bloomberg Businessweek Chinese (Official International Media Partner), Wall Street Journal (Official International Media Partner) and Sentosa in Singapore which is the Home of the Asian Tour which also has an office in Kuala Lumpur.

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